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South Korea, Seoul

O philoi, oudeis philos at Atelier Hermès

A collaborative installation celebrates ten years of activity and looks to the future

Ten years ago, Atelier Hermès opened with a mission to support ‘art as a commitment to life’ through a programme of work by politically and socially engaged artists. Now, the reconfigured Seoul exhibition space invites visitors to look to the future, with a collaborative show entitled O philoi, oudeis philos.

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - O philoi, oudeis philos at Atelier Hermès
© DR

The show takes its title from a Greek phrase widely attributed to Aristotle, questioning the nature of friendship. From the many available interpretations, exhibition curator Kim Yunkyoung opts for a literal translation: ‘My friends, there are no friends,’ stressing the ‘duality of friendship, its potential and its impossibility’. Marking ten years of public exhibitions at Atelier Hermès, the show reflects the essence of the ancient maxim, exploring the coexistence of the possible and the impossible. 

Conceived very much as a ‘non-retrospective’, with a firm eye on the future, the exhibition spotlights the work of young artists (average age 30) emerging on the contemporary Korean scene. The result is a collaborative piece devised by six visual artists, conceived as ‘an organic whole’ (in the words of the curator’s brief) and featuring works created especially for this all-encompassing space.  

Installations, videos, paintings and sculpture by Kim Minae, Kim Yunha, Kim Heecheon, Park Kiljong, Baek Kyungho and Yoon Hyangro frame a dialogue that subtly echoes the exhibitions, artists and works presented at Atelier Hermès over the past decade, each readily identifiable by the space’s loyal public, as a collective foundation and springboard for the decade ahead.

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7, Dosan-daero 45-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea

Free admission


Curator: Yunkyoung Kim